House Speaker Ryan: Get rid of the evidence!

March 18th, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Rep. Paul Ryan would rather you not see the distributional implications of his and his fellow Rs’ tax plans. I can see why he’d think that, but he said it. Over at WaPo.

Source: Tax Policy Center

Source: Tax Policy Center

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8 comments in reply to "House Speaker Ryan: Get rid of the evidence!"

  1. Peter K, says:

    If distributional implications don’t matter, on what basis does he evaluate tax plans?

    For instance, say a Democrat had a plan that soaked the rich and Ryan objected that it’s class warfare. Couldn’t the Democrat just respond “distributional implications don’t matter?”

  2. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Apologies for the drive by, but think Dr B would find this blogpost *mighty* interesting: Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer, in fine form again:

    If Ryan wants to purge his graphs and stats of history, that thought process of eliminating counter-evidence puts him in company with Lenin and Stalin. And we all know how that plays out over time.

    If he wants to tie himself to an anchor, that’s his affair.
    Meanwhile, brighter, more well-rounded, more raucous minds are reinventing economics and Paul Ryan seems oblivious.

  3. Smith says:

    We want to see, at a minimum, top marginal tax rates restored to 50% on all income above $375,000.

    Unfortunately Bernie Sanders doesn’t impose a 50% rate until incomes reach $2 million, and he tops out at 54% on $10 million.

    Clinton plans no tax hikes on incomes under $5 million at which point a 4% surcharge kicks in on top of the current 44% rate today (39% top rate at $450,000 plus 3.9% Obamacare tax) meaning 48% on $5 million

    Who had that very high rate of 50% on a mere $373,000? Ronald Reagan, that’s who, 1980-1986. What happened in 1987 and 1988? Income tax rates were lowered to max of 28%, but, and it’s a very big but, capital gains taxes were raised to a max of 28% (from previous 20%). Who was paying that? Mostly the 1% and .1%, and it amounted to a huge net increase for them, because they derive more of their income from capital gains than ordinary income. So how did we get back to 20% capital gains? Bill Clinton in 1997 (he had raised regular rates in 1993 to 39% for income over $400,00 from a previous 31%)

    Sanders would treat capital gains as ordinary income for those making over $250,000. But, another big but, If you are making less than $250,000 Sanders taxes your capital gains at 17% not Reagan’s 28%, not Obama, Hillary and Bill’s 20%.

    All rates are for joint filers and all amounts are in inflation adjusted 2015 dollars.

    When it comes to taxing the rich, the order is Sanders, Reagan, and lastly Clinton with the most favorable treatment for the 1%

    That high tax award to Sanders comes only because of capital gains taxes for incomes above $250,000.

    When it comes to taxing the 1% Obama and Clinton give away the store in comparison to Reagan.

    The Democratic nominee should just agree to go back to Reagan tax rates.

    And don’t get me started on Eisenhower(90% on $2 million)

  4. Kevin Rica says:

    What Harwood did not ask was what was the guiding principle behind Ryan’s tax plan. Did they pick the numbers out of a hat? Did they open the floor to bidding by the highest-paying interest groups and lobbyists? were they trying to incentivize savings in a savings-glut world and make it better?

    • Kevin Rica says:

      Or were they trying to incentivize savings in a savings-glut world and make it even worse?

  5. Amateur says:

    I think Ryan probably believes what he says. I think a lot of people at the top of that party believe the same. It really comes down to something I tried to get across one time in a blog post. I think it bears repeating somewhere that it can actually be seen.

    It went something like this:

    Many fairly wealthy people had to work hard for the financial success they have, and raising children in a wealthy family requires some discipline on the part of the parents. Generally these parents face a problem that is different than most people: how to prevent their children from feeling entitled because of their parent’s success. They have to use tough love to instill a sense of work ethic and responsibility. Applying this to the problems of poverty might make such a parent believe that tough love can solve the problem much better than welfare or generosity, or possibly some of them believe that churches can fill the gap, but they can’t.

    What these parents don’t understand is that the poor people in this country are not their children. They are God’s children.

    This was an attempt on my part to appeal their beliefs and to get the point across that they should not project their life experiences upon the nation as a whole. They’re fatally wrong about this.

    They’re sometimes right about the distortions of markets, but poverty is a problem of total market failure that their ideas cannot fix. I think a lot of them truly believe that their success is being punished by our tax system. A lot of them are second generation wealth, and so their views of the world were skewed from birth.

    And some of them are probably just greedy and disgraceful humans, I assume.

    • Smith says:

      This is wrong. It is not hard at all to figure out conservatives, but many liberals it seems either have no clue, or are just not thinking hard enough (claim made in self aware irony), trapped in a liberal bubble, liberal echo chamber. It is for sure not the case that conservatives are generally wealthy. The ruling class of the conservative party is very wealthy, as is the ruling class of the more liberal party. It’s not surprising there may be more conservative billionaires then liberal, as egalitarian impulses would be expected to diminish the pool of left leaning Horatio Algers. But contrary to what you may think about people being bamboozled into a foreign belief system, or racism being the primary motivating force, conservatives generally have faith in less government because it is reinforced by experience, and for a large segment of the population, less government is the best government. The most important example is probably unemployment. The conservative idea is that anyone who truly wants a job can find one. Guess what? For most people this turns out to be true. Since 1972 white unemployment was above 5% just 60% of the time, but black unemployment was above 10% over 76% of the time. When was black unemployment below 5%? How about never. White unemployment ever above 10%? Nope, not possible I guess. This just barely scratches the surface, because length of unemployment may reveal segments chronically unemployed. Two income households may reduce the effect of one member being unemployed. Wealth and savings may also reduce the impact. Geographic areas may be less affected. In normal times, there is regular job and job market churn probably causing 3% base unemployment. This occurs then while 90 to 95% of white America are always employed (though not always the same 90% obviously).
      A second and easy point to make comes from asking does anyone believe that the government doesn’t waste money? Is there anyone who hasn’t been burdened by government bureaucracy in one matter or another? Is there anyone thinking some of their tax dollars aren’t spent sometimes for programs that don’t work? But even when Democrats had a chance to skewer the shoddy contract defense work in Iraq, like Senator Truman, they didn’t. Liberals who write off the conservatives so easily are as guilty as Romney dismissing the supposed 47% takers.
      Economic stagnation has opened up opportunities for realignment, people are looking at Trump or Sanders, something different than the establishment.